Gormenghast

Writing For The Few, Not The Many

  I once wrote a book I couldn’t sell (not once actually – about a quarter of all my novels go through this ‘nobody-in-their-right-mind-will-publish-this’ phase). ‘Calabash’ was a coming-of-age novel about a clever, lonely teenager who accidentally falls between a rundown British seaside town in the 1970s and a fantastical version of ancient Persia, where […]

Some Recommended Christmas Reading Part 1

You know you’ll have a bit of spare time to yourself in the coming weeks, and it might be a good time to catch up on a book or two. Here are a few I can wholeheartedly recommend. Where do you start, though? So I’ve picked few I’ve just happened to read or reread… Crooked […]

An Adventure Into The Fantastic

  It goes without saying that writing fantasy is very different to writing a crime novel. But I didn’t realise just how different it was until I attempted one. It not only doesn’t read like any other kind of literature; it doesn’t write like one either. My favourites in this genre would include ‘Gormenghast’, ‘The […]

It’s Going To Be A Box-Set Christmas

It’s been a strange year for film, with mainly weak blockbusters, no decent Hollywood comedies and no strong horror movies. A further retreat into sequels and reboots has set the pattern for the future, and only Universal is doing something fresh, ditching the 30 year-old idea of the tentpole release to concentrate on a smaller, […]

My Favourite Moments In Novels No.2

Some years ago I wrote an essay on Gormenghast and why I loved it so much (naturally, I’ve lost the book it appeared in, and have no recollection of its title). I first read Mervyn Peake’s pinnacle of British fantasy writing when I was about fifteen, and it has lived with me ever since. There […]

Great Adaptations

Watching the BBC’s critically lauded modern-day version of ‘Sherlock’ last night set me thinking about adaptations. The general lack of new UK drama on TV (Bryant & May are currently languishing in Development Hell) does remind me of the past’s biggest adaptations, from ‘Brideshead Revisited’ to a not bad (but clearly cash-strapped) version of Patrick […]